Thread: Public Safety Boycot?
01-15-2009, 07:28 PM #1
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
- idaho falls
Public Safety Boycot?
I recently took the public safety test. Before and after testing Ive heard alot of people think it was a bogus test. That the questions were unfair. I thought it was probably because of low scores that they felt that way. After taking the test I received a substantially lower score than other tests. I felt like the test seemed easy until I got to the 50 question personality portion which I thought the questions were pretty vague and unfair. I can see why some people feel the way they feel I dont know what others scores were. I also felt like the staff at public safety were unfriendly and rude. I,m just curious what others thoughts were. I dont think boycotting is a choice for me If you want the job you have to take the test. The only way to improve is by studying and taking it so Boycotting doesnt seem like an option. I would like to know what others opinion is.
01-15-2009, 11:01 PM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
The test is really easy until the personality, then it is just answering the questions the way they are looking for. Also be aware that they do change the way they score them every now and then. I know this because I was at a test when they got up front and said "I know some of you guys think you can outsmart the test, well not anymore. We have just changed the way we do things" luckly they changed things for the better concerning my score as I got hired off that list. I have since heard that they have changed it again.
Good luck and keep on testing.
01-16-2009, 12:00 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
- Green Bay
I personally believe such tests are bogus, because they are open to interpretation. Those who administer such tests will strongly disagree with me. My reason is because some questions are like "I like to analyze data", one could put disagree as an answer and then 70 questions later you get a question like "I use data analysis often" etc. Point is you can't quantify your answers, while analyzing data may be a part of one's job, it doesn't mean they have to like it. These tests are about consistency, best thing is to answer with either "Agree" or "Disagree", avoid the "Strongly" choices.
As for boycotting a test, that does nothing when looking for a job, other people will still take the jobs.The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.
01-16-2009, 10:25 AM #4
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
- idaho falls
strongly agree that test sucked
I know it has been said a 1000 times but my opinion may not be there opinion. It all depends on the test writer. But a question like I feel safe. Well Im living in a small town. You might live in a large town with a big crime rate. What kind of question is that anyway (wasnt on my test but just an example) The questions were all like that. Another question Ive notice after posting this some people say they scored alot higher never answering strongly agree/disagree. I only answered strongly. I got a 67 which 1/3 of the test is the personality portion so Im wondering if thats how I failed 1/3 of the test. Is this how this is graded? I will just give it another try and be as honest as I can on vague questions and not put Strongly and see if the results are different. I wish there was a way to Boycot public safety but I want the job.
01-16-2009, 07:23 PM #5
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
- Green Bay
Really what is boycotting going to do? Nothing, except give you a chance to vent, it won't solve the issue at hand. The personality test is a psych test and many depts are going to this more and more. I don't agree with them and I think they are a sham, but it is another hurdle to get the job. The tests really aren't graded on a right or wrong system, but by consistency. The questions asked are asked again in a different wording, so it is a matter of answering consistently. Answering either agree or disagree is easier than using "strongly". Typically with such tests if you fail this portion you fail the whole test, the way I read your post is you still passed the test, just not as high of score, be happy for that. I have taken a dept test twice where it was the same test, I failed the first time because of the personality test and passed the second time, just keep testing instead of dwelling on boycotting.The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.
01-17-2009, 01:04 PM #6
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
As much as I dislike PST, I don't think you really have any other choice but than to take their tests. I have a hard time understanding how someone who bases their whole business model on testing candidates can be so bad at it (unorganized, unfriendly, bad information, can't tell you who is actually hiring off the list, etc). One thing I did when I took their test was I called every department that used PST and asked if they had current plans to hire off the list. I only selected that ones that said yes or ones that I really really wanted to work for to reduce cost. In the end I always knew that my scores weren't that good through PST but I still played the game because a certain part of getting hired is just playing the odds - nothing ventured nothing gained. After you get hired and get some experience, if you think you can do better than starting your own service would be a great sidejob Just take the tests, do your best, and focus your energy on more productive things - doing well on non PST tests, practicing oral boards, etc.
01-17-2009, 10:30 PM #7
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
I’ve been watching random threads on this very subject with Public Safety. I took that test for the first time last June and came out thinking that I did average. As it turned out, I did pretty darn well. Better than I usually7 do. I can’t say for certain, but I have been around the testing cycles now but for some reason I think that very part of the test made up for some short falls I might have such as Math. As I write this I know have a few interviews coming down the pipe so I feel pretty lucky. I don’t know if there is any kind of trick to that part of the test but I decided to answer those questions with the idea one of my hunting buddies was asking them. I tried not to out think this test as I have in the past and tried to answer it like I really wood. Not what I think they really wanted.
However, with that said I would like to join you in the venting process. I took this video test for the first time today in Seattle and now I feel the same as you. I would like to boycott that thing. I thought that was really lame but what can I do. Regardless, we got to keep plugging away if we want it and can’t allow ourselves to get tripped up. Remember that phrase? Keep your eye on the ball… With that said, this is a good place to vent and your thread let me vent for my test earlier today… To that, I say thanks and good luck.
01-18-2009, 01:04 PM #8
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- San Francisco Bay Area
Written Test Psych Questions
"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you."
If you haven't already figured it out yet, there are psych questions being placed in the entry level written or FireTeam Video testing http://eatstress.com/fireteamvideo.htm
Why? To eliminate candidates early in the process instead of investing time and money getting candidates through all the stages of the hiring process and have them fail the psych evaluation (up to 40% fail the psych) at the end as part of the medical.
This process has truly changed he face of the fire service. The red hots, the backbone of the fire service have a difficult time just getting out of the blocks and over the hurdle on the written like those above have expressed.
We believe you should be prepared for each step of the hiring process before you show up. Are you prepared? Many aren't. Don McNea Fire School www.fireprep.com is a company that is at the cutting edge of providing candidates with study information to get over this hurdle.
We know several candidates who have obtained their home study program. One candidate said if he hadn't prepared in advance for the psych questions on the LA County test he would have failed. He passed. His buddies didn't.
Here's a testimony off the Fireprep.com web site from a candidate who benefited from the Don McNea Fire School:
I am sending this e-mail to say Thank You for helping me with the psych portion of the written exam. I took a test without knowing your info. and scored in the low 70's. About 3 weeks ago I took that same test and scored a 94% and will be continuing in the process. That following week I took the same exam at my home department and though I do not know my score i have been invited to continue in their process as well.
I honestly believe that without knowing the information that you gave me and talking to you on the phone I would not be continuing in the process anywhere. I believe in what you have done for me and therefore I have recommended your material and website to many of the candidates that I have talked to in the past few weeks. I cannot say it enough but THANK YOU! Larry
“Nothing counts ‘til you have the badge . . . Nothing!!!”
"Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com
01-18-2009, 11:43 PM #9
The problem here is that "50 questions do not a psychological test make" if I may be allowed some poetic license. Psychological tests like the MMPI are made up of HUNDREDS of questions, as in 300 to 500. I've taken those and guess what? I'm not crazy! Or so those tests say. The facts are:
1-PST is using this as a selling point to HR departments ("hey we can insure you get candidates with the right psychological makeup")
2-Boycott is useless, there will always be eager people who want that job and you and everyone who boycotts will just make it easier for them to get hired.
3-By selling lists of candidates Fire departments and the HR/civil service departments they work through avoid complaints, test challenges, etc. If a municipality runs a test then you could go to local government (town meeting, city council, legislature, etc) and file a complain with a chance to be heard. Want to challenge PST? hire a lawyer. Anybody got $200 an hour for a lawyer? I don't. Departments have replaced the cost and pain of running a test with just a cost. They like that.
4-Enough qualified people will get hired through PST. The fire departments that use them are probably in HEAVEN. Pay a set fee and get a list of names when ever you want. They will not see a downside.
I am not happy with PST or the other "human relations" based tests (the ergometrics video test). I was able to score 100% on PST last year, but I still think they are bogus. First went the competitively scored physical agility test, now the written test are based on something other than reality. It's really sad.
01-19-2009, 12:23 AM #10
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
- idaho falls
I have never thought it was a good idea to boycot this test. Ive just noticed that at tests when you talk to other candidates they say they have boycotted this test. I dont know why. yeah its B.S. to pay to take a test travel there and find out that the test is B.S. but with the practice from it and going through the hoops its worth it. Im all for eveyone else Boycotting the test that just means less competition. So more power to them I just am wondering if they are all talk or if people are boycotting public safety. I do think there are more people discouraged and do not take Public
Safety because of the personality portion. If cities are looking for people who want to work for them. I think they should consider finding a new testing company. However they probably have a large eligibilty list. I would think If I was paying for someone to condut a test I would go in and at least say I would like to see some changes because of people getting discouraged. Im wondering If a city would pass me off as a whiner because I didnt score as high as the next guy If I wrote a letter. I do know what the test is all about and I am pretty confident I can score higher next time or maybe even a few times. I am also wondering if 50 out 150 questions are personality does this acout for 1/3 of your score. It makes sense but WOW.
01-19-2009, 01:56 PM #11
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
If you boycott this test, you certainly aren't going to be able to apply to any department who uses them...
01-20-2009, 08:44 AM #12
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
- Cleveland, Ohio
In the past, this test consultant had given scores of 98-100% to candidates who answered either Strongly Agree or Strongly Disagree. However, from recent examinations across the country, it appears that they have changed the format for scoring. The individuals who are scoring 98-100% are now answering Agree or Disagree.
We recommend that you never, ever answer Not Sure. This gives the appearance of waivering, being wishy-washy and being unsure of your decisions
Personality traits of a successful firefighter that these types of exams are looking for.
• Maintains effective and pleasant working relationships with superiors and peers. This is a must!
• Gets along well with others in a working relationship. Remember that firefighters work a 24-hour shift. You aren’t going home after a normal 8-hour workday like most Americans do; you are spending an entire 24 hours with other firefighters. You are expected to be able to get along in this atmosphere. Getting along is crucial to working side-by-side at an emergency scene. You must be able to trust and depend on each other. This is one of the key personality characteristics that they are trying to find in a successful candidate. Can you get along? Can you work together with others in a continuous 24-hour period?
• Is flexible, not rigid, in thinking. It’s not “my way or the highway.” Firefighting is a team effort, not an individual effort. You must know that suggestions and recommendations are going to be made as a team; whatever is best for the team is what the final decision will be.
• Is a self-motivated individual. Firefighters are people who get things done. They don’t wait around to be told what to do; they take action.
• Is decisive. Firefighters are not wishy-washy or maybe-sort of in their personality traits. They have to make a decision and stick with it. Sometimes decisions don’t work out as planned, but it is a decision based on experience and the situation that is confronting you.
• Has empathy and is supportive of others in time of need. The definition of empathy is being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to feel what they are feeling. Are you the type of person that can do that? Or are you the type of person who closes yourself in and can’t imagine what the other person is experiencing. Firefighters respond to emergency scenes where people are in need. You need to be empathetic to better serve others. This is an important personality trait and is one that is critical on these examinations.
• Is able to control and keep emotions on an even keel. Firefighters do not get high anxiety or stressed in emergency situations. They need to stay calm and controlled to make the appropriate decisions.
• Has a pleasant, good sense of humor. Firefighters are easy to get along with their coworkers; they have a good sense of humor; they are not thin-skinned; they can take comments from coworkers and the public without feeling offended.
• Is willing to accept constructive criticism from others. Remember that firefighting is a paramilitary organization. You will take criticism from your superiors; you must accept it, find out how you can improve, and move on.
• Knows that there is a chain of command and that following established department procedures is important in an organization. Again, firefighting is a paramilitary organization. You report to your lieutenant, captain or battalion chief. You don’t step out of rank over your officer to go to their superior. There is a chain of command and you must follow it.
• Is willing to work as a team member. This personality characteristic is one of the most important ones that will determine whether or not you can be a successful firefighter. Firefighting is a team effort. It’s not about individual accomplishments or what did I do; it’s what the team did. This is what it’s all about. You need to be able to work as a team. You must accept the team’s decisions, even if you feel that your opinion in the decision is the best one. If the team determines another decision, then you must follow and support the team’s decision.
• Has a positive and enthusiastic attitude. Firefighters are optimistic and believe that the outcome of a situation will be positive.
• Honesty. Firefighters are by nature very honest and trustworthy individuals. Citizens need to feel comfortable around firefighters and not feel suspicious of their motives.
• Shows initiative. Firefighters take initiative. They don’t lay back to find out what can be done; they take action when it is needed.
• Innovativeness. Firefighters come up with ideas and suggestions for the betterment of the team.
• Uses judgment and common sense. Firefighters don’t just “shoot from the hip.” They use common sense and judgment for the best outcome at an emergency scene.
• Has a positive attitude and believes that a successful outcome will occur in emergency situations. Firefighters are optimistic individuals, not pessimists. They believe that emergency situations will have the best outcome for those they are treating and always display that positive attitude on the scene.
• Has strong values and ethics. Firefighters are honest, trustworthy, dependable, and moral. They don’t try and find the angle that is best for them; they are people that can be depended upon.
• Good organizational skills. Firefighters are well organized. Good organizational skills are needed at the fire house and on emergency scenes.
• Dependable. Firefighters are the type of people that you can count on. They are on time and are there when you need them.
• Able to speak clearly and audibly. Firefighters need to be understood by the public; they don’t speak too fast, they have an even tone and are able to be well understood.
• Ability to follow oral directions. Firefighters are the type of people who can follow oral directions from their superiors and other firefighters.
• Ability to follow written directions. Firefighters must be able to understand their Standard Operating Procedures and their department rules and regulations. They must be able to understand written instructions on how equipment works and is employed at the scene.
• Is able to handle stress and stay calm in emergency situations. Again, firefighters don’t show high anxiety, stress or nervousness – they remain calm so that everyone else in an emergency situation can also remain calm.
• Works with little or no supervision. There are times on an emergency scene when you are given an order and you must complete that order by yourself. You have to be able to know what you are doing and accomplish the task.
• Is able to take charge when the situation demands it. Firefighters are take-charge kind of people. They don’t sit back; they show initiative to get things accomplished.
• Under emergency conditions, can handle critical decision-making. Many times at an emergency scene, critical decisions must be made. Firefighters must be able to make these decisions. They must trust their instinct and experience and have the most optimistic attitude towards a positive outcome.
• Under emergency conditions is able to perform both repetitive and complex tasks with little or no supervision. Firefighters often perform the same repetitive duties at the firehouse and at an emergency scene. They must be able to perform these tasks without direction. Firefighters take initiative to learn how the equipment is used properly and how to maintain it.
• Is able to treat the severely injured and sick. In today’s environment, 70% of what firefighters due on the job is related to the medical field – whether it is a heart attack, shortness of breath, diabetic emergency, etc.
• Is able to accomplish duties in tight time frames. Many times at the fire scene and at the firehouse, duties must be completed in a short time frame. Firefighters must be able to handle deadlines and accomplish the task successfully.
• Does high quality work and makes suggestions to improve how things are done. Firefighters make suggestions so that they can improve the nature of their work and be able to accomplish tasks on the emergency scene in a well organized manner to provide the best service possible to the public.
• Realizes that safety is a top priority. Firefighters realize that many times they must put themselves in harm’s way to save another person. On the fireground, firefighters are always keeping keen attention and detail to the safety of themselves, other firefighters on the scene, and any civilians.
• Has the sincere desire to serve the community and help people. This is what firefighting is about. You are in a job to serve other people. People whose houses are on fire, or have been in an accident or have a medical emergency, and/or catastrophic situations – you must be the type of person who has a sincere desire to step up to the plate and be willing to put your life on the line to serve people you don’t even know.
• Willing to accept people as they are without regard to race, creed, or gender. Firefighters treat people equally. They must treat those living in a $20,000 home the same as those living in a $400,000 home. It doesn’t matter what color, religion or sex someone is – firefighters look at the person as a person. They don’t stereotype people and truly believe that all people are created equal.
• Can render emergency care to anyone regardless of who they are, where they are and what their beliefs are. Firefighters cannot be biased towards anyone; they show everyone the same respect – whether an individual is on welfare or is a millionaire. They do not care what the religious or social views are of those they serve.
• Understands that there are cultural differences and does not stereotype individuals. Firefighters know that there are many different cultures in our country. They cannot stereotype cultures – whether good or bad – they treat everyone fairly.
• Able to treat all people with dignity and respect. Again, firefighters do not care what your social, religious, and/or economic values are – they treat everyone with the same respect.
• Willingness to continue learning new things. Firefighters are always in continuing education. They need to find out what the newest medical procedures are or the latest innovations on the fire scene.
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01-22-2009, 08:09 PM #13
Oh Public Safety UGGG
You have mentioned the same problems with public safety that I noticed when I tested. BUT I certainly wasn't going to boycott a potential job opportunity. I have heard from several area depts. that they are thinking of going away from the PS test because they haven't updated the test, in years. Every year is basically the same test with a few variations. That is why the best candidates now are doing what I did to get hired. Take the test as often as you can to figure out the test. You will begin to see patterns and better understand what you are not good at. For me it was math. Then I practiced my math daily and retook it again and again. It finally paid off, but I understand the frustration I paid probably $1000 overall to PS. A good tip I saw earlier on this forum was mentioning that PS will not even research whether or not a dept. is actually hiring. They want you to add as many depts. to your list so they can make more money off of you, while in actuality the dept. may not even be taking apps. Do your due diligence and get online or call each dept. to see if they are actually taking apps before you add them to your PS list. GOOD LUCKCL
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